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21 Kids Will be Biking After Christmas

By
Home Inspector with SLS Home Inspections-Kankakee Will Iroquois Grundy Counties 450.004175

21 Kids Will be Biking After Christmas.

     How do I know this you may ask? I know this because I helped collect then repair then deliver those same 21 bikes to the local Kankakee, IL Salvation Army. They have a Toyland event where local underprivelaged families can come to the Salvation Army gym that has been all set up with rows and rows of tables filled with donated toys and games. The families usually fill out a wish list for their children and when they arrive at the Toyland, a Salvation Army volunteer walks them through and helps find the perfect, special toy on the wish list. 

     The bicycles all come from Project Re:Cycle, which is a local bicycle 501c3 charity. They get over 150 bicycles a year donated from the local police departments and the local bike shop. They are in various degrees of condition. Many were stolen and are pretty much ready to ride. Many others are in such bad shape that they can only be used for scrap parts we can remove from the bike such as the seat, handlebars, wheels, reflectors etc. Others just need a new inner tube or maybe the brakes don't work or some other minor repair.

     The charity started over 40 years ago in Bourbonnais, IL by two local friends, Bob and Francis, and when they both passed away many years ago, there was a real possibility that the entire operation would be shut down. There wasn't a reliable location to set up the shop and over the years, the shop and volunteers were living a strange nomad life. The shop ended up getting moved over 7 times in a 12 year period. The current location will hopefully be the last time it has to move.

     I have been one of the directors of the charity since Bob and Francis passed away. We have a regular group of volunteers that show up nearly every Tuesday evening from 6-8:00 to help fix a few more bikes. There are 5 repair stations with four color coded sets of tools. Red, blue, yellow and black, and you better not mix them up. There is a room full of wheels and rims and a cleaning station to make the repaired bikes look as nice as possible. Over the years, we have had over 1800 bicycles come through the shop. Some were given a new home with a deserving new owner, and some ended up being sent to a scrap yard and recycled.

     The very best part for the charity is the look on a little kid's face when he gets his very first bike. It's priceless and is the perfect reason why our mission statement is a very simple one. EVERY KID SHOULD HAVE A BIKE.

Comments (14)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Scott - such a simple idea and it's one that has been executed in incredible ways.  Priceless - indeed. 

Dec 19, 2023 06:01 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Scott. What a way to help provide a bike to those less fortunate. Kudos to you and your group. Enjoy your day.

Dec 20, 2023 04:20 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Love this, Scott. You are a true champ in my book! I remember getting my first bile and that was over 65 years ago... so I know how big a deal this will be for 21 fortunate kids. Indeed, every kid should have a bike.

Dec 20, 2023 04:25 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I love this!  Not much makes me happier in life than to see kids happy and bikes certainly make kids happy!

Dec 20, 2023 04:26 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Scott,
Kudos to you and the ReCycle Bike Charity. I remember my first bike. It was a joint gift from my Dad and Grandma.  The first bike to a kid is like the first car when we get older. It's a new level of freedom to travel.

Dec 20, 2023 05:29 AM
Lew Corcoran
Better Living Real Estate, LLC - East Bridgewater, MA
Real Estate Agent, Home Stager, & Photographer

Hi Scott - Glad top see the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in your neck of the woods. 

Dec 20, 2023 05:45 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Hello Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp 

“EVERY KID SHOULD HAVE A BIKE” is a wonderful mission statement. 

The mission of Project Re:Cycle, the charity Bob and Francis created lives on following their death because of people like you!  

Seeing the look on the kids’ faces is PRICELESS.  That alone may be the inspiration for all of the people who work to carry on the legacy of Bob and Francis. 

Thank you for participitatin in the December Kindness Challenge 

 

Dec 20, 2023 08:11 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I remember you sharing this project with us before and I thought then as I do now, what a great thing to do! How wonderful!

Dec 23, 2023 04:56 AM
faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

A bicycle is such an important thing to a child, as the experience the freedom and joy. What a wonderful gift to kids.

Dec 23, 2023 06:26 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Scott:

What a wonderful charity and a special gift to 21 kids. I can just imagine the looks on their faces when they receive their bikes!

Happy Holidays!

Jeff

Dec 23, 2023 12:44 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Scott,

I love this idea! The kids will be so excited with their bikes, its so important to them to have a "ride." You are right the very best part of this charity is the look on a little kid's face when he gets his very first bike! Well done!

Dec 24, 2023 07:23 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

That is such a great charity and the help it gives to kids that otherwise might not get anything is truly priceless.

Dec 24, 2023 09:33 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

What a wonderful charity!  I love the Salvation Army and try to donate goods and funds directly as it's such a good organization.  Bless you for your continued support!

Dec 26, 2023 02:45 PM
Gloria Todor
Premier Property Sales & Rentals - Springfield, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Scott, So wonderful that you stepped in to ensure this charity continues.  So important for children to get to have a set of wheels to help in their development as individuals.  Way to go!

 

Jan 04, 2024 05:41 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp

Gloria Todor Thanks Gloria, it is a great day with your first bike.

Jan 16, 2024 09:32 AM